Star Wars #5
For the most part, this issue focuses on two sets of characters. It starts off with an excellent dog fight – the art is stellar and the writing is great. There’s not as much back and forth here as in dogfights Wood has written for this series in the past, but this team, we get a look at the pilots in both the X-Wings and the TIE fighters. From here, we go straight to Coruscant, to follow Han and Chewie’s plot line. They’ve been forced deeper into the underworld, where they are aided by Perla, an Imperial sanitation officer. Already, there seems to be a great dynamic building there. The highlight of this issue, though, was Boba Fett. Sure, he only had a brief appearance, but it was pretty awesome. My only issue are those exposition bubbles that treat the readers like we know nothing. In a lot of instances, you can just skip over them, because they’re useless and annoying.
Next month, we get the start of Snyder and Capullo’s next big story, Zero Year. This week, however, we get the conclusion of Clayface’s story. And my, what a great story it is. The last issue gave us a new origin for Clayface, and this week gets more into Batman’s battle with Clayface. There’s some great stuff in this issue, from Lucius Fox telling Bruce that he’s not Batman to what is quite obviously the Batman Beyond costume. all of it comes together to form an excellent conclusion, where we really get to see Bruce grieving over Damian’s death, while still managing to remain Batman. Plus, the back up (continuing last months story) was stellar, especially the relationship between Batman and Superman.
Batman and Robin #20 (Batman and Red Hood)
Again with the numbering DC… it’s going to be confusing a few years down the road. And, as much as I’d like to say that numbering is the only thing wrong with this book, I’d be lying. Not to say that it’s bad, because it isn’t. But I feel that Carrie Kelly is really being shoe horned into the series as a whole, simply because of the role that she had in Dark Knight Returns. Will she become Robin at some point? I sincerely doubt it. And, so far, she’s seemed like a wasted character, because Bruce has simply dismissed her. And why wouldn’t he? Now, on to the actual story for this issue. We see Batman asking Red Hood to go with him on a mission that is really just a way of manipulating Jason. It seems so odd to me that Bruce would do that – especially after the last couple issues of Red hood and the Outlaws. Also, the whole angry Batman thing is really just a dull retread of what Scott Snyder did a lot better in Batman #18. Despite the abrupt tonal shift, and the lack of coherency with other books, Batman and Robin #20 was actually a decent comic.
I have loved this series from the start. I know that many have found it to be a simply Ok series, but I feel that, with this book, Jeff Lemire has carved out a niche for this book in the DC Universe. Like many of the DC books, it has a pretty dark tone to it. However, much like Soule is doing with Swamp Thing, Lemire has made this a really fun book. Constantine’s characters has been established really well, and this book has been more about character than story from the start. Actually, the plot is merely passable, but Lemire has really done John Constantine justice in a way that makes his character interesting and a lot of fun to read. Not to say I don’t enjoy the plot, especially this wrapping up of some aspects of it in this issue. I really loved the alternate realm and the London curse, that made for some great action and cool character work.
From the beginning, Deathstroke has very much been a book about family. The entire first arc revolved around Slade and his son Grant, so it makes a lot of sense that the book wraps up with an arc that is oriented around Slade Wilson and his relationship with his family. Do I wish that the book wasn’t ending? Of course. Do I wish that it could continue with it’s two or three issue arcs seeing Deathstroke as a mercenary? Yes. Do I wish that they would have at least wrapped it up in issues that were decent? Again, yes. Everything about this conclusion has felt compressed into the past two issues. This has caused a lot of characters to feel irrelevant, and their deaths simply wasted. And the plot? It’s horrible. There’s really nothing more to say about this book.
Justice League of America #3
My biggest fear for this book was that I would have to read the latest issue of Catwoman to understand it. Luckily, it explains all of that pretty nicely, which takes up the majority of the issue. The JLA’s stand off with the robot Justice League is wrapped up towards the beginning in a way that feels a little abrupt and odd. Still, it was necessary in order to solidify exactly why Vibe is important to the team. Going back a little, the first two pages were great in solidifying exactly what Stargirl’s role on the team is, and I can’t help but feel bad for her. Oh, and if you thought Green Arrow was part of the team, you were wrong. Actually, he joins in this issue, in a scene that was pretty well done, as was this whole book, at least until the back up. It was a complete and utter mess, jumping between Catwoman and Martian Manhunter’s in a way that was incoherent and made no sense at all.
The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #4
Hollywood Horror ended on a decidedly high note, with the strongest issue of the four issue mini series. This entire mini series has been awesome, and, as with all other Rocketeer stories, they’re so much fun to read. I have to say, I really love the narration in this series as a whole, and in this issue specifically. And then, of course, there’s Cliff. He’s just so incompetent in so many ways that it’s astounding that he’s even able to be the Rocketeer. Sure, in this issue, some of his troubles come from his jet pack (in moments that are very, very funny), but Cliff’s character is just so unbelievably ridiculous, it’s hard not to laugh at some parts. My only issue would be that the ending was all wrapped up a little too nicely. Yes, this is the Rokceteer, so I didn’t really think anything extremely horrible would happen, it just seems a little odd how everything from this mini series was wrapped up a little abruptly. However, it’s hard to care when the book is this awesome.
Chin Music #1
Normally, I pretty much just read super hero comics. I make exceptions, of course, for a few Image and Vertigo series, but, on the whole, I stick to super hero comics. So when people started talking about Chin Music, it wasn’t really a book that I was familiar with, as I’m not a huge fan of gangster comics. Nevertheless, I picked it up, and I have to say, it was alright. It suffered a bit from being unfocused at times, but I felt that it set up the story for future issues pretty well. There wasn’t much action in this issue either, but it did have some pretty cool behind the scenes material with the mob bosses, and that was cool. I think that, more than anything, this first issue just set up the over arching plot of the book, rather than going right into all the action yet. Still, it was at times hard to understand what was going on, so it did warrant a re-read, simply to make sense of the incoherent story.
The Walking Dead #110
Obviously, The Walking Dead #110 was a pretty good comic. I don’t think that there has ever been a Walking Dead comic I didn’t like, especially one centered around Michonne. The newest character, Ezekiel, also plays a big role here, and his character is a lot of fun. However, I liked the air of mystery he had to him. His back story is cool enough, but I would have preferred not knowing it for a little while longer. Anyways, the dynamic between him and Michonne lightens the book a little, which is good, because it starts out pretty depressing. At first, I actually thought that Negan was going to find out about the impending attack. I liked the way that that was dealt with, and the suspense was great. Sadly, a lot of characters were overlooked in this issue, namely Andrea, Maggie, and Carl. Also, I get the feeling that Kirkman is dragging the build up for the attack far longer than needed. I find it hard to really care though, since he does such a good job writing the journey.
Uncanny X-Force #4
I’ve heard great things about the current X-Men comics, and so I’ve decided to pick a few up, starting with Uncanny X-Force. I got the first three issues digitally, and picked up the newest issue. Honestly? I loved it. I didn’t read the original Uncanny X-Force, but I’ve been able to piece the plot together, and so this book makes a lot of sense, and is friendly to new readers. So I’ve really been able to enjoy this book, and that doesn’t stop with issue number four. The ninja face off is awesome – even though they never actually fight with each other. My biggest issue is that the Bishop material is wrapped up a little too quickly. A more minor issue is that the Fantomex stuff is too short – but that’s really just nitpicking, because it’s all just so great.
Wolverine #3 is a vast improvement over the series’ first two issues. It’s not as repetitive, and the plot is beginning to go a little bit deeper. Plus, this issue has a tone that is far lighter, and, in many ways, that does the book a great service. The first few pages, especially the Nick Fury content, are pretty funny. And then there’s the bar, which introduces us to some new characters, who will hopefully begin to become regular cast members, because they are very entertaining. There’s not a lot in the way of action until the last few pages, but the pace is still pretty fast. And with the last two pages of the issue, the plot really gains a lot of strength, and I’m actually pretty excited for the next issue of this series which has gone form being OK to being pretty great,
I really don’t expect anything bad from Valiant these days. Seriously, pretty much all of their books are terrific reads, and Harbinger, at least in my eyes, is the best of the new Valiant series. So when there were no Renegades in last weeks Harbinger Wars #2, I was slightly disappointed, but it only made me more eager for this issue. And, unsurprisingly, it didn’t disappoint. Sure, this issue wasn’t as action packed as Harbinger Wars #2, but it did some great scenes between the two groups of super powered kids. It’s really interesting to see what motivates the two groups, and it’s also very cool that they seem to be setting up two distinct groups opposing Harada and PRS, which may lead to a great confrontation. Anyways, there was some great character work here for all of the Renegades, and it was nice to get to know some of the PRS kids better as well, since they haven’t really gotten much time to be developed.